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ERP floats changes for classic models

Since the HP 3000 got popular in the 1970s, manufacturing has always claimed a majority share of its business use. MANMAN and the work of ASK led the new minicomputer into major corporations and thriving manufacturers. To this day, that software runs operations in places like Rockwell Collins, Calsonic, and Amatek Chandler. But the day of changes to classic ERP is coming. One of the things that's sparking it is the regularity of change.

Cloud-adoption-pie-chartTerry Floyd of the Support Group, which provides app support for companies using MANMAN and other ERP software, updated us on the use of alternatives to MANMAN. With a package as comprehensive as that suite, companies have to be cautious when replacing it. "Things have changed," he said. "The new stuff is NetSuite, Workday, Plex, and Kenandy, and a dozen others," he said. It's a lot better than Microsoft Dynamics, a solution we reported on earlier. The trend is illustrated in the chart above (click for detail.)

And among the changes taking place today is adoption of cloud ERP. 

Kenandy says it's is making headway because it's more flexible and responsive to change in business than the classic ERP platforms. Cloud-based ERP is becoming a replacement choice because its fluid design can be responsive when business grows.

As a small company running on a combination of business applications, what happens when your business expands? Can you easily integrate new business lines? Can your systems easily adapt to new processes? What happens when you decide to scale and develop a global presence? Do the applications support multiple sites, multiple currencies and multiple languages? Moving to a cloud ERP solution allows you to easily scale across all these dimensions.

Companies running a legacy ERP system -- those are the MANMAN sites -- have to factor in the cost, time and effort of scaling a system to respond to new business requirements. Some of these MANMAN customers are being acquired, since they're efficient enterprises. "What happens when you open a new facility or attempt to integrate a new acquisition?" Kenandy asks in a white paper.

In addition to costs for integrating with an acquisition, or a new ownership partner, for additional hardware, ancillary software and maintenance, there's time needed to scale.

Any organization will go through the process of capital planning, hardware and software procurement, installation, and on-boarding — a process that could take weeks or months. Moving to a cloud ERP solution allows you to bypass much of this effort and scale more quickly. New users, new sites or new acquisitions can be on-boarded and then go live in a matter of days.

Floyd's company broke ground for MANMAN alternatives with the IFS ERP package. Kenandy, which traces its roots back to the ASK founders, is a point on the next horizon for ERP replacement.